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TEDMED 2014 November 2014 Unlocking Imagination 10 Key Themes
10 KEY THEMES Humility returns to the stage Going against the grain It’s about the system Radically rethinking norms Better delivery, not better pills Innovation derived from the unexpected The brain game Celebrating the human spirit Gender parity matters It pays to persevere
Humility returns to the stage. Healthcare leaders such as Elizabeth Nabel, Danielle Ofri, and U.S. Army Surgeon General, Patricia Horoho, put ego aside to embrace intellectual humility, recognize the limits of our knowledge, and admit to errors in our current medical systems.
Going against the grain. The TEDMED audience gave standing ovations for those who go against the grain. Self-expression and difference were embraced as Rosie King questioned the paradigm of “normal.” Meanwhile Sophie de Oliveira Barata is a brilliant artist who builds prosthetics designed to stand out.
It’s about the system. We cannot separate our human actions, the system we live in, and our health. Researchers are now correlating human disease to human disruption of the natural world, drawing from the animal kingdom to spur innovation in medicine, and considering biomimicry as a design approach.
Radically rethinking the norms. What if drugs were decriminalized, blood tests were conducted at home, surrogacy was prescribed for infertility, and breastfeeding reduced heart attacks in mothers? On the TEDMED stage, norms were consistently challenged, and proposed solutions upended conventional wisdom.
Better delivery, not better pills. What if how a treatment is delivered is as important as the molecule itself? Numerous speakers pointed to improved effectiveness when shifting environmental conditions such as light, sound, and even the use of placebos. .
@ahier Innovation derived from the unexpected. Drawing from Cuba’s medical schools, the local toy store, and the lingerie drawer, speakers shared discoveries from the most improbable of places, showing that innovation often occurs outside the laboratory.
The brain game. With science on the cusp of revolutionary advances in neuroscience, researchers shared previously unknown brain connections, showing that solving for health is about understanding the brain more than any other organ. Speakers revealed that sleep provides a cleaning system for the brain, gut microbiome are brain puppeteers, and that understanding eye movement provides new insight into brain behavior.
Celebrating the human spirit. Speakers infused health and medicine with humanity and levity. Diana Nyad shared the inspiring tale of her Cuba-to-Florida swim, while tutu-self portraitist Bob Carey and comedian Tig Notaro use humor as a healing agent.
Gender parity matters. More women than ever before took to the TEDMED stage, much to the credit of event organizers who continue to dispel the notion that STEM is a man’s world.
It pays to persevere. During TEDMED 2010, Marc Koska presented his vision for saving millions of lives with a single use syringe. In 2014, he made this a reality on the TEDMED stage, as he announced WHO’s global health initiative and policy mandating the use of safe needles.
Photo Credits Cover … TEDMED Page 2 … TEDMED Page 3 … The Alternative Limb Project Page 5 … USA Today Page 6 … Science 2.0 Page 7 … Karp Labs Page 8 … Top World Post Page 9 … Bob Carey, The Tutu Project Page 10 … TEDMED Page 11 … TEDMED